Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Latest Huffington Post Blog:"Man On A Ledge" Forerunners!

'Mysteries From Beyond The Other Dominion'

An Absorbing Quartet of 1950s Man On A Ledge Productions
Posted: 01/24/2012 10:29 am

With a potentially hot new film, Man On A Ledge, on the verge of being released, it is appropriate to review four intriguing similarly themed entries from the 1950s, one from the cinema and three from TV, as follows:

Fourteen Hours(1951): A man, Robert Cosick (ably portrayed by Richard Basehart) is psychologically devastated by his family's lack of love for him and his fear of being unable to bring happiness to his galpal (Barbara Bel Geddes). As he stands on a ledge contemplating suicide, a police officer, Charlie Dunnigan (Paul Douglas), endeavors to talk him out of his planned death, and ultimately succeeds after 14 hours!

"The Big Jump" (1952 Dragnet episode): On his way home, Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb) stops to check out a crowd gathered, looking up at a man, Walter Harrison (Paul Richards), on a ledge threatening to off himself. Finally, he is able to dissuade him from his planned felo-de-se. But, in the epilogue which was presented at the conclusion of each show, it was reported that the gentleman leapt to his death three months later!

"The Human Bomb"(1953 Adventures of Superman episode): A gambler, Bet-A-Million Butler (Trevor Bardette) has wagered $100,000 that he can keep Superman at bay for 30 minutes while two henchmen rob the local museum. To execute his plan, he drags reporter Lois Lane (Phyllis Coates) out onto the ledge of the Daily Planet building, threatening to kill them both with dynamite strapped to his chest unless the Man of Steel sits in an office for half an hour where he can both see and hear him. Clark Kent (George Reeves) leaves the scene in disgust in order to reappear as Superman where he records his voice to answer Butler and has a detective sitting in shadowed profile to make the gambler think he is cooperating. Of course, he thwarts the robbery and eventually subdues Butler.

"Man With A Problem" (1958 Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode): An apparently moribund man, Carl (Gary Merrill), threatens suicide on the ledge of a hotel. In flashback, we see that his beloved wife Karen (Elizabeth Montgomery) fell in love with another man, Steve, who refused to leave his wife for her. Consequently, she committed suicide. Carl indicates that he will only speak to the officer on the beat (Mark Richman) who comes out on the ledge to attempt to bring him in. It turns out that this was a well-conceived plan, as that cop is actually Steve, whom Carl pushes to his death!

A trio of relevant video reports:

George "Superman" Reeves Was Murdered:

1st Actress To Leap Off The Hollywood Sign:

The Suicide of All About Eve Actress:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Latest Huffington Post Blog:13 Intriguing Friday The 13th Factoids

13 Intriguing Friday the 13th Factoids!
Posted: 1/12/12 01:25 PM ET

Friday The 13th History , Friday The 13th Superstitions , Friday The 13th Facts , Fear , Friday The 13th , Superstitions , Weird News

-- The fear of Friday is skeviphobia, the fear of the number 13 is triskaidekaphobia, and the fear of Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia (aka friggatriskaidekaphobia).

-- While both Friday(because Judas was thought to have been the 13th guest at the Last Supper) and 13(because it is an uneven number following the even number 12 widely considered beneficial) had independently been considered unlucky for centuries, the dark nature of Friday The 13th appears to have only originated in the West in the 19th century, possibly with Henry Sutherland Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini wherein the date is termed unlucky!

-- Apollo 13, which barely escaped becoming a doomed flight, was launched on 13:13 CST, April 11,1970, with the explosion that disabled the craft occurring on April 13(a Monday).

-- In Spanish-speaking nations, Tuesday The 13th is regarded as unlucky!

-- Oklahoma bandit Crawford "Cherokee Bill" Goldsby murdered 13 victims, and was captured with a reward of $1300, At his trial, 13 eyewitnesses testified against him, the jury took 13 hours to render a verdict of guilty, and he was hanged on April 13,1896 on a gallows with 13 steps!

-- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never host a dinner party with 13 guests in attendance and refused to travel on the 13th day of any month!

-- Cuban leader Fidel Castro was born on Friday, August 13,1926, while celebrated outlaw Butch Cassidy was born on. Friday, April 13,1866!

-- Miami Dolphin Quarterback Dan Marino wore No. 13 throughout his distinguished football career. In his one and only trip to the Super Bowl(1985), the San Francisco 49ers clobbered his team, 38-16!

-- The majority of skyscrapers in America do not have a 13th floor, while some hospitals avoid rooms numbered 13, and a few airline terminals bypass gates numbered 13!

-- Every calendar year has at least one Friday The 13th. The most Fridays The 13th that can occur in any given calendar year is three, such as in 2012(January, April and July)!

-- The longest period that can occur without a Friday The 13th is 14 months, either from July through September of the following normal year, or from August through October of the following leap year!

-- In the 1960 cinematic thriller, 13 Ghosts, director William Castle, known for creating innovative PR gimmicks, introduced "Illusion-O" and offered audience members "ghost viewers" to enable them to see the invisible spirits(unfortunately, his on-camera appearance is often deleted from TV airings of the film).
-- On Friday April 13, 2029, the asteroid 99942 will make its closest encounter with the Earth!

Here are 2 Friday The 13th related video links:

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